The Power of Prayer

There are times in our lives when we recognize that our own ability to problem solve is limited.  When we are looking out over the edge of our own understanding, we need more help and that can lead to prayer.

Art - Power of Prayer

No matter who or what we pray to the goal of prayer is to put us in a better place, to put us in touch with a source bigger than ourselves.

In order to pray, you don’t have to have a particular religion, philosophy or moral code.  Prayer is the admission that there is a Power greater than ourselves upon which we can rely.

I will use the term Higher Power to speak about who we are praying to.  Some people are not comfortable with the word God, so they make up their own word.  It could be Higher Power, a tree, nature, music, dance, the ocean, the sky or the universe, their dog.  Recently someone once told me he prays to the “truth.”

People of different faiths have told me that after a while many of the traditional prayers do not always move them.  Too much rote learning and not enough meaning can diminish the power of communal prayer and at other times the repetition of prayers in community can enhance the collective effervescence of a group.

The time of the day we may need the most help and comfort can be at 2:00 or 3:00 AM when we cannot sleep or rid ourselves of ruminating thoughts.

I know when I am fighting sleep, filled with anxiety and fear in the middle of the night, I need a very different kind of Higher Power than the one I find in public religious services.  I need a close, personal HP that I can talk real with.  I need the kind of HP that I can say anything to,  including “wow,” “gimme,” “thanks” and “oops.”

Studies have found the benefits of prayer include a sense of calmness, encouragement, support, reflection, a broader perspective, hope, comfort, knowing oneself, and possibilities.   Current research suggests that it has a positive effect on our immune system functioning as well.

Needing spiritual help is universal.  Getting there is individual.  The act of praying is different for each of us, and the power of prayer manifests itself in different ways.

I often rely on the Serenity Prayer to give me the wisdom to know the difference between what I can change and leave the things I cannot change to a Power greater than myself.

Reflection:   Am I willing to explore inspiration through prayer?

Today’s Practice:  How can prayer support me?

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